Khordad 12 1399 - June 01 2020
Shardad Rohani performing from Tehran's Roudaki Hall

In celebration of Maestro Shardad Rohani's upcoming birthday on May 27, Farhang Foundation is proud to present an exclusive world premiere performance by the Maestro performing his much celebrated composition of Dance of Spring, exclusively for us from Tehran's Roudaki Hall (aka Vahdat Hall), home of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. 5/26/20

PHOTOS: Harvesting damask rose in N. Khorasan province

Farmers in Iran's northeastern North Khorasan province have started harvesting damask rose, a widely cultivated flower throughout the country. The rose water produced from damask roses is applied in pharmaceutical and perfumery industries. -Maryam Davarnia, Mehr 5/26/20

COVID-19: Iran Reopens Religious Shrines After Two Months

Iran has reopened its religious shrines, some two months after closing them due to the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreak. The shrines were reopened on May 25 amid a gradual easing of restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic, which has killed 7,451 people and infected over 137,000, according to official figures. Real numbers are believed to be significantly higher. 5/25/20

Coronavirus: Under lockdown, Iranians turn to Instagram for taboo-breaking content

As Iranians have spent much of the past three months under lockdown in the Middle Eastern country worst hit by the coronavirus, many have, like elsewhere in the world, turned to the internet to find distractions from the pandemic. Livestreams on Instagram - one of the few available social networks in the country - have become more and more popular, as Iranian celebrities have used them to attract more followers in various ways. -Saeid Jafari, Middle East Eye 5/25/20

From Iran to the US: Songs in times of war and coronavirus

I stand behind the French glass doors to the Juliet balcony of our New York apartment. Outside, the low sun signals its impending shift to another part of the globe and three storeys below a couple walks on the street holding disposable coffee cups, as though it is a normal day. In many ways it is a day like any other... -Sara Goudarzi, Al Jazeera 5/22/20

Iran's population growth drops to less than 1% for first time

The country's population growth rate has decreased to less than one percent for the first time over the past four decades, Seyed Hamed Barakati, deputy health minister for family and school population has said. The marriage rate in the country has dropped by 40 percent since 10 years ago, which is an alarm that threatens the country's future in all economic, social and even security dimensions, he lamented. 5/21/20

Bani Adam (Children of Adam): World musicians release solidarity music video during pandemic

A music video inspired by Persian poet Sadi's famous poem "The Sons of Adam Are Limbs of Each Other" has been released with the voice of Iranian vocalist Alireza Qorbani in collaboration with several Italian singers and overseas musicians during the pandemic. The music video has been released to promote the message of peace and friendship, the Italian theater and cinema actress Pamela Villoresi has said in an introduction to the music video. 5/20/20

107 Iranian medical staff have died in coronavirus battle

"We are gathering precise data from all over the country in order to know how many people from among medical staff have been infected with the coronavirus or lost their lives in fighting the virus. So far, 792 individuals have been infected and 107 dear colleagues have lost their lives. Let's pray for the patients," Hossein Kermanpour wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday. 5/20/20

Tarkhineh Soup; A Nutrient Iranian Dish with Yogurt

Tarkhineh is a dried food ingredient, based on a fermented mixture of grain and yoghurt or fermented milk, found in the cuisines of the Middle East. Dry tarkhineh has a texture of coarse, uneven crumbs, and it is usually made into a thick soup with water or milk. Tarkhineh can be eaten in all seasons, but in winter, it is said to have a positive effect on the treatment of colds. -Fatemeh Askarieh, IFP 5/19/20

VIDEO: Tehran Choir performs John Rutter's "For the Beauty of Earth"

The Tehran Choir by conductor Mehdi Qasemi has released a video in which its members perform British composer John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth" during the home quarantine in the battle against the spread of COVID-19. Several musicians from the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, Iran's National Orchestra as well as musicians from several other countries have collaborated in this project 5/14/20

Top 10 books about Iran

Iran is an ancient country with a complex people, among them some of the greatest poets who ever lived. Sadly, the Iranian novel has yet to reach the popularity of the country's poetry. This is perhaps because there is something enigmatic about how Persian prose is written, often using surrealism and magical realism to mimic the playfulness in its poetry. No matter what Iranians do, even if they write historical textbooks, it seems they can never shed the poetic touch. -Nazanine Hozar, Guardian 5/14/20

Social Distancing in Iran

Social interactions in Iran are dictated by a form of etiquette known as taarof: an elaborate, indirect manner of speech and behaviour. Layers of symbolism, verbosity and insincerity are intended to smooth over conflict, ease interactions, and keep certain truths buried. It's a form of social distancing, if you will, putting space between what is meant and what is said. As the social scientist Kian Tajbakhsh has put it, 'in the West, 80 per cent of language is denotative. In Iran 80 per cent is connotative.' -Arianne Shahvisi, LRB 5/14/20

Our Iranian Lockdown: filmmaker Q&A

Filmmakers Sara Khaki and Mohammad Reza Eyni talk about their intimate new documentary. In this new Guardian Documentary, Our Iranian Lockdown, a filmmaking duo turn the camera on themselves and capture their lives in lockdown. Their film is an intimate portrait of the highs and the lows of love and loss in these times of great uncertainty. -Guardian 5/12/20

Let's share our love of Iran: Painter Iran Darrudi

Iranian surrealist painter Iran Darrudi has asked her countrymen to share their love of their homeland. Speaking to the Iran-France Friendship Association in an online interview on last Wednesday, the 83-year-old Darrudi said, "Unfortunately, Iran and its history has been consigned to oblivion. However, we cannot deny our identity; we are Iranian and the history shows that this land has been the founder of the world's culture." 5/11/20

VIDEOS: Iran's National Instruments Orchestra Pays Tributes to COVID-19 Healthcare Staff

With the aim of expressing appreciation for the medical staff from around globe, the Iran's National Instruments Orchestra performed "The Avicenna Suite" by maestro Farhad Fakhreddini. The work has been recorded and edited by cell phone at home. 5/1/20

PHOTOS: On the verge of oblivion? Meet stone lions deserted in southwest Iran

Some cultural heritage enthusiasts say that hundreds of stone lions, which were placed on top of the tombstones of brave and courageous people of Bakhtiari tribe in the past, are now on the verge of oblivion and even fading away. Bakhtiari nomads regard such stone statues, locally called 'Bard Shirs' as a symbol of bravery, valor, and characteristics like adroitness at hunting and shooting in war as well as horseback riding on top of the gravestone of that group of people. -Alireza Mohammadi 4/29/20

Iran's flag on Swiss iconic mountain shows sympathy in battling coronavirus

In a symbolic gesture, Switzerland sympathized with the Iranian people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic by projecting the Iranian flag on the mountain of the Matterhorn, one of the country's most famous peaks. The image went viral among Iranian users in social media who highly praised the move. 4/29/20

Sassanid Inscription Unearthed In Ancient Iran Necropolis Being Deciphered

Experts are working to decipher a newly discovered inscription unearthed in an ancient necropolis near Persepolis, an official of the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran, said on Monday. The inscription which dates from the Sassanian period (224-651 AD) was found in Naqsh-e Rostam and is written in Pahlavi language (also known as Middle Persian) which was the official language of the Sassanian Empire. 4/28/20

the starkness of iran's desert developments is captured by manuel alvarez diestro

for his latest photography series, manuel alvarez diestro transports us to the isolated landscape of iran's deserts. amid the vast expanse of rolling land and mountain peaks, the images hone in on new housing developments. from afar the tower blocks appear as models in miniature, while closer up, the true scale of the buildings can be appreciated. -Design Boom 4/27/20 4/27/20

Iran marks National Day of Saadi Shirazi, the Master of Speech

Today is the National Commemoration Day of the renowned Persian poet Saadi Shirazi, born in Shiraz around 1200 and died around 1292. Abu-Muhammad Muslih al-Din bin Abdallah Shirazi, known by his pen-name Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. Saadi is known as a mystic and metaphysician in the history of Persian literature. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts.-Morteza Rahmani, Tehran Times 4/21/20

With Persian tahdig - the fluffy-rice, crispy-bottom classic - practice makes perfect

Numerous legends abound on how tahdig was born, and here's one: To make sure diners could scoop up the last grains out of the pot so that nothing, not a single grain, went to waste, Iranians started to line the bottom of the pot with bread to prevent rice from burning and possibly being ruined. The covering was to protect precious rice, and that covering is how tahdig, which in Farsi means "bottom of the pot," was born. - Shadi HasanzadeNemati, Seattle Times 4/21/20

Lessons on humanity from Persian literature

All of Iran's celebrations this year to mark Sadi Day on April 20 will be organized online due to the COVID-19 disaster. Persian poet Sadi was introduced to the generation of Iranians that are now in their fifties with the following verses at the primary school age: The sons of Adam are limbs of each other / Having been created of one essence / When the calamity of time afflicts one limb / The other limbs cannot remain at rest.... -Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet 4/20/20

VIDEO: Vice Guide to Iran

Over the past weeks and months, Iran has descended into chaos. From the downing of a passenger jet to the assassination of a top general, and now one of the world's largest coronavirus outbreaks, life in the Islamic Republic is facing its toughest challenges since it was founded in 1979. Just days before all hell broke loose, VICE founder Suroosh Alvi traveled to the country, meeting people from all walks of life: from hipsters to hostage-takers, and from top lawmakers to one of Iran's heaviest metal bands. -Vice 4/17/20

AP PHOTOS: In Iran, isolated musicians perform from rooftops

With performance halls closed and many isolated in their homes as a result of the Mideast's worst virus outbreak, Hosseini and other Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. That includes rooftops dotted with water tanks and littered with debris, empty front porches and opened apartment windows. Their music floats down on others stuck in their homes, fearful of the COVID-19 illness the virus brings. -Ebrahim Noroozi, AP 4/16/20

Iranian Medical Staff Wearing Masks Speak via Poems on their Suits

A group of medical workers in Iran have been seen in protective suits bearing poems and sentences that bring to mind their relentless efforts in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Iranian doctors and nurses have been looking after coronavirus patients for almost two months now. They have outfits which are hard to wear; still, some wear suits with poems and catchphrases written on them. -IFP 4/13/20

PHOTOS: Virus stills Iran's frenetic capital, Tehran

The typically frenetic streets of Iran's capital, Tehran, have fallen silent and empty over recent days due to the new coronavirus outbreak that's gripped the Islamic Republic. The now-deserted cafes where waitstaff lounge around with no customers to serve, or the closed bookstores and stadiums, are such a sharp contrast to the way things were. -Ebrahim Noroozi, AP 4/9/20

World Health Day: Dedicated medics on front line fighting the invisible enemy

This time, medical professionals have gone far to help patients afflicted by the coronavirus, so the least we can do is supporting them and paying tribute to those putting themselves at risk battling against a dangerous enemy which is not even visible. Since March 25, it is reported that 43 medical staff in Iran have lost their lives due to the coronavirus infection. 4/8/20

PHOTOS: Historic Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz, Iran turned into workshop for coronavirus masks

The historic mausoleum of Shah Cheragh in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz has been temporarily turned into a workshop for local women to produce protective masks amid the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, as seen in footage shot on Monday. The Shah Cheragh shrine, which translates to the "King of the Light", has switched its long lines of pilgrims for a masks production line in an effort to meet the medical supplies demands in Iran amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 4/7/20

Mosque converted into mask factory in virus-hit Iran

At a Tehran mosque converted into a factory, women volunteers who would normally attend to visitors to the old battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war have joined the fight against coronavirus. Lined up like factory workers, around 15 women have taken up positions in front of table-top sewing machines to produce face masks. -AFP 4/7/20

What an Iranian film about a leper colony can teach us about coronavirus

In the autumn of 1962, the celebrated Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad made what would be her first and last film. Regarded as a precursor to the Iranian new wave and now considered a classic, The House Is Black is a documentary about the members of a leper colony near the city of Tabriz in northwest Iran. Despite having been filmed nearly 60 years ago, and focusing on a small group of people suffering from a particular condition, it has found new relevance in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, having much to say not only about the current situation in Iran but also to those in self-isolation and/or suffering, regardless of location. -Joobin Bekhrad, Guardian 4/6/20

Powerful light installation by Nanda Sharif-pour at Soho Lofts on Las Vegas Boulevard

The bright lights of Las Vegas' Strip may have gone dark, but art remains a beacon of light in Sin City. As the city is placed under a 30-day lockdown for entertainment and all non-essential businesses due to the global pandemic, a public art installation, ONE by Iranian-American artist and refugee Nanda Sharif-pour, uses art to inspire kindness, reflection, equality and unity during these times of global political and social unrest. -ArtfixDaily 4/3/20

Sizdah Bedar 1399: Iranians advised to stay home on Nature's Day due to epidemic

The thirteenth day of the Iranian calendar month of Farvardin is traditionally marked in Iran as Nature's Day, or Sizdah Bedar as the day is known in Persian. The annual festival is an opportunity for people to picnic outdoors with family and friends and enjoy nature. But not this year! And the coronavirus pandemic is to blame. Iranian officials have instructed people to skip celebrating Nature's Day and to continue staying home due to serious health threats from the new coronavirus. 4/1/20

The Coronavirus Through The Eyes Of 5 Iranian Photographers

With more than 20,000 reported cases as of Saturday afternoon, Iran has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has affected Iranian leadership, and data show the spread is far worse than reported. As the crisis worsens, NPR talked with a group of independent documentary photographers about their experiences on the ground. -NPR 3/23/20

Persian New Year traditions transformed by coronavirus in Iran

The Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is a time of coming together in Iran. Alongside family, friends and strangers, Iranians take part in two weeks of rituals that include the spring equinox. Poetry is read and loved ones join one another in dance. Locals jump over bonfires to ward away sickness. Homes are cleaned, tables are symbolically rearranged. It's part of a string of customs to herald the spring and celebrate rebirth. This year, COVID-19 has transformed these traditions. -Tamara Qiblawi, CNN 3/20/20

'It was like a scary movie.' Coronavirus has forced Iran to take a hard pause

I HEAD OUT to take pictures of the coronavirus crisis in Tehran. In Iran we are used to crises and we adjust quickly to new realities. I put on latex gloves, place a mask over my mouth and nose, and pack a sterilizer in my camera bag. The new normal. Streets that would normally be bustling with people and cars are deserted. I try to breathe through my mask. It's suffocating. I feel as if I've stepped into some dystopian future. -Newsha Tavakolian, National Geographic 3/20/20

Coronavirus keeps families apart on eve of Iranian new year

Nowruz, or "new day" in Persian, is an ancient celebration and the most important date in the calendar, when families gather and exchange gifts. But the coronavirus has overshadowed preparations this year in a country severely hit by the outbreak. There have been 1,284 deaths and 18,407 confirmed cases in Iran so far, overloading hospitals and upending everyday life. -Parisa Hafezi, Reuters 3/19/20

In search of junub, the hippie spirit of Iran's south

Among Iranian youths, junub carries much more meaning than just its literal definition of south. It has long been synonymous with an adventurous trip, a breath of fresh air and a sense of freedom. When winter cold comes to most of Iran, in its southern provinces young Iranians scatter around the remote beaches and mountains of the Persian Gulf islands. Here, they enjoy the company of other open-minded Iranians and relative safety to pursue their personal freedoms, engage in creative activities, exchange ideas and form long-term connections that last far beyond the beaches of Hormoz or Hengam. -Mykolas Juodele, Guardian 3/16/20

Reckoning with an Uncertain Future in Iran, and Outside It

My mother loves anecdotes, witty sayings, and little old tales that teach a life lesson. A favorite comes from her father, whom she loved dearly. The saying shows the imprint of a life lived in the Iranian countryside, under the rule of mercurial authorities: When you go to fill your water jugs, dip both in the stream at the same time. Otherwise, by the time one is filled, they might not let you use the stream anymore. -Ali Araghi, New Yorker 3/16/20

Cartoonist Jamal Rahmati uses Shahnameh characters to make animations on defeating coronavirus

has used characters from Persian poet Ferdowsi's magnum opus, the Shahnameh, to make an animation series named "The Seven Adventures of Coronavirus". "Rustam and Zakariya against Corona", the first part of the seven-episode comedy series, was released on Saturday. 3/15/20

Iranians devastated by prospect of New Year under quarantine

The run-up to Persian new year should be one of the busiest periods for shopkeepers in the vaulted streets of Tehran's grand bazaar, the centre of commerce in the Iranian capital. But in the days before Nowruz, the biggest celebration in the Iranian calendar, there is scarcely a customer in sight. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Financial Times 3/13/20

Jumping Over the Fire: Bay Area Iranians Carry On

The Iran I know and the Iran I see in the news have been stubborn puzzle pieces that simply refuse to fit together. The Iran I know is reaching under a bed for my grandfather's cane in Ahvaz at the age of four, one year before his death. The Iran I know is on the balcony of my mother's childhood home in Shiraz, sleeping under the stars with cousins in 2002. The Iran I know is jumping over beach bonfires late into the night for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. -Ida Mojadad, SF Weekly 3/5/20

Coronavirus: doctors and nurses in Iran filmed dancing in bid to boost morale - video

Footage has appeared on social media of Iranian health workers dancing and singing in an effort to keep morale up as the country faces the worst coronavirus outbreak outside China. -Guardian 3/5/20

12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA

Join Farhang Foundation for the 12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Courts. The event includes musical performances, children's activities, dancers, a Haft Sīn display and our annual Persian Costume "Spring Walk" open to children and adults of all ages. 3/2/20

How a Persian Mystic Poet Changed My Life

Five years ago, in an act of creative desperation, I decided to immerse myself in the classical Persian poetry I grew up taking for granted. I aimed to learn it by heart and under the expert tutelage of my father, a physician by trade and a connoisseur of Sufi poetry by tradition. For my father, nothing is more sacred than poetry - specifically the mystical poetry of Rumi. -Melody Moezzi, New York Times 2/27/20

Iranian Dolls to Go to Geneva as Peace Ambassadors

Jai Jagat 2020, an Indian campaign organizing a global march for peace and justice, has decided to take two Iranian folklore dolls from Isfahan to the Swiss city of Geneva as peace ambassadors. The Indian campaign "Jai Jagat", which means "One Planet, All People", has organized a one-year global march for justice and peace. -IFP 2/24/20

Photos: Projection mapping in Tehran sends sympathy to Chinese battling Coronavirus

In a ceremony on Tuesday night, a projection mapping was carried out on the iconic Azadi Tower in Tehran to convey the message of sympathy with Chinese people fighting coronavirus. The ceremony was held in the presence of Chinese Ambassador to Iran Chang Hua, ISNA reported. 2/19/20

Aroosi Exhibition in Los Angeles: 150 Years of Iranian Wedding Traditions

Farhang Foundation, USC Libraries, and USC Dornsife Department of Middle East Studies present an exhibition celebrating Iran's rich wedding traditions. 2/17/20

Iranian Pumpkin Tahchin; A Must-Try Dish for All

Iranian Tahchin is a rice cake primarily consisting of rice, yogurt, saffron, and eggs. Some versions of the dish are more elaborate, folding in chicken fillets, vegetables, fish, or red meat. Tahchin is often made with meat or chicken, but the one made from pumpkin is different, and it is recommended to all to try this delicious dish at least once. -IFP 2/16/20

PERFORMANCE: The Story of Nowruz comes to life in San Francisco in March 2020

The production "The Story of Nowruz" describes the unique celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of the Persian new year. From exciting and ancient Zoroastrian soul-cleansing rituals, to the good luck charm and beauty of the "Table of the Seven S's," the performance depicts traditions of inspiration, rebirth, renewal, and hope through traditional choreography, original scoring performed by a live 22-piece orchestra, and professional actors in a first-of-its-kind stage production. 2/13/20

Pir-e Shaliar ancient Iranian festival: Celebrating abundance, good fortune

Pir-e Shaliar is an ancient annual ceremony, celebrating abundance and good fortune since centuries ago in Uraman Takht rural district, Kordestan province, western Iran. Pir-e Shaliar, a legendary folk figure for Iranian Kurds, is warmly remembered for his allegedly magical healing qualities and mojo that locals believe could populate the land with livestock and crops in times of trouble. The figure is associated with the pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian times. Within its great ethnical diversity, religious plurality, and cultural differences, the Iranian society considers the wedding ritual and its related ceremonies and customs as one of the most important pillars of Persian culture.. 2/3/20

Jashn-e Sadeh, ancient festival of mid-winter, observed by Zoroastrians across Iran

A host of Iranian Zoroastrians come together in Taft county, central Yazd province, to observe Jashn-e Sadeh, a time-honored religious festival of mid-winter on January 30, 2020. Same ceremonies were also held by followers of the Zoroastrian faith in several other cities across the country, including Tehran, Shiraz, and Kerman. Narratives say that the festivity is to remember the mythical discovery of fire. That's why they set fire to a big pile of wood when the event reaches its climax. 1/31/20

Homecoming: 27th Houston Iranian Film Festival to conclude at Rice Cinema

Co-founded by Rice Cinema and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Houston Iranian Film Festival will return to campus this weekend to conclude its 27th annual iteration with a celebration of Abbas Kiarostami, one of Iran's most monumental filmmakers. This year, in addition to screening Iran's 2020 entry for the Academy Awards in the category of Best International Film "Finding Farideh" and other acclaimed new Iranian releases, the festival featured a retrospective of Kiarostami, a legendary director not only within Iran but on the international stage of contemporary global cinema. -Katelyn Landry, Rice Thresher 1/29/20

Winner of the Farhang Foundation's 2020 Nowruz Banner Design Competition: Setareh Feylizadeh

This year's winning design was awarded to Iranian artist Setareh Feylizadeh from Paris, France. "Participating in a competition such as this, especially one which connects us to our roots, cultures, and traditions, has been so rewarding." said Feylizadeh. "The ultimate prize of winning this competition is the chance to connect with another community of Persians in another part of the world by spreading the message of Nowruz, which bonds us together and brings us closer to one another. 1/24/20

Hossein Zenderoudi's Voute Azuree Tops 12th Tehran Auction

Hossein Zenderoudi's painting Voute Azuree was the most expensive work sold at the 12th Tehran Auction on Friday as it fetched 32 billion rials (over $750,000). A selection of 118 lots of modern and contemporary Iranian art was offered during the auction held at Tehran's Parsian Azadi Hotel. 1/21/20

2020: Millennium of Persian Poet Ferdowsi

Anniversaries are important; they celebrate legacies and signify presence and continuity. This year, 2020, marks the 1000th anniversary of Ferdowsi's death. This renowned Persian poet died at age 81 in 1020, more than five centuries before Shakespeare was born. Ferdowsi has not only endured for a thousand years but has also defined the very identity and language of his own country - Iran. This is, indeed, a great achievement for a poet or for any person, for that matter. -Rasoul Shams 1/13/20

The PASSENGERS

The passenger manifest for Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 includes years of birth; the oldest Canadian was born in 1945, the youngest in 2018. The victims had roots across the country. Many were believed to be Iranian-Canadian students returning to school after the winter break. There were also professors, dentists, doctors, a software engineer and a real-estate agent. Flight 752 crashed Wednesday in Tehran, killing all 176 on board. 1/10/20

Outpouring Of Grief As Iranians, Canadians Mourn Plane Crash Victims

A newlywed couple returning from their wedding, a family of three, including a 1-year-old toddler, a doctoral student, and a mother and her 8-year-old daughter are among the victims of a Ukrainian plane crash in Iran that killed all 176 people on board. The tragedy led to an outpouring of grief for the victims, including many dual Iranian-Canadian nationals who were on their way back to Canada. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians were aboard the plane. -RFE/RL 1/10/20

Shahla Riahi, Actress and Iran's First Female Director, Dies at 92

Veteran Iranian theater, cinema and television actress, Shahla Riahi, who was also the county's first female director, has passed away at the age of 92. In 1956, she became the first Iranian woman to direct a feature, with Marjan. 1/1/20

Quince Stew; An Iranian Tasty Dish for Cold Season

Quince is a fruit of the cold season; a fruit that has many benefits and with which various and delectable foods are prepared in Iran. Quince stew is one of these dishes. The stew is cooked in different styles. Some use split peas to make it look like another Iranian stew called Gheimeh. -IFP 1/1/20

Despite tensions with Donald Trump, Western-influenced subcultures continue to thrive in Iran

More than 40 years after the 1979 revolution, which saw a breakdown in US-Iranian relations, the leaders of the two ideologically opposed nations continue to spar over nuclear weapons and sanctions, as widespread protests continue to break out on Iran's streets. Yet nearly two decades since the release of (2004 bestselling graphic novel ) Persepolis - which faced attempted bans in both Iran and the US - Iran's cities and culture continue to be shaped by Western ideas and thought, with many young Iranians bucking binary politics to embrace activities and artforms like skateboarding, hip hop and heavy metal music. -Zena Chamas, ABC 12/30/19

Iran Football: Andrea Stramaccioni no longer Esteghlal coach & Gabriel Calderon on verge of leaving Persepolis

Italian coach Andrea Stramaccioni is no longer the coach of Esteghlal football team, the Iranian club said in a statement. Stramaccioni left the Iranian popular football team on Dec. 8 after the club failed to transfer his salary over the U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, Persepolis coach Gabriel Calderon has said he is disappointed with the club's behavior, fueling speculation that he is set to leave the team. 12/26/19

Yalda Night: Iranians celebrate winter solstice tonight!

A new Yalda Night is approaching the hearts of Iranians no matter which part of the globe they live. On that graceful night the winter chill is vanquished and the warmth of love embraces the entire family. The last evening of autumn and the beginning of winter is a ceremonious, auspicious time for Iranians and lovers of Iranian traditions everywhere on earth. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 12/21/19

Evaz Recognized as First Child-Friendly Town of Iran

An Iranian town has been designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a safe town for children. Evaz is a small town in the south of Fars province, southern Iran. It has been named by UNESCO as one of more than 3,000 town and cities across the world that are safe havens for children. -IFP 12/21/19

Yalda celebrations begin for Newfoundland's Iranian community

On the eve of the winter solstice, members of Newfoundland and Labrador's Iranian community are celebrating as Yalda celebrations are set to begin. Yalda is an annual celebration on the Iranian calendar that falls on the night of the winter solstice, this year landing on Dec. 22. The day marks the longest and darkest night of the year. Azadeh Haddad and Sharzhad Mostaan came to Newfoundland from Iran, and are members of the Iranian students' association at Memorial University. -Alex Kennedy, CBC 12/21/19

From Persia with songs and hymns

Maureen Nehedar's performances in Israel and abroad have received rave reviews for their originality and excitement, and her three CDs have topped the radio charts. She has sung with the Ankor Choir, the Isafan Ensesmble, and collaborated with Israel's leading orchestras and artists, such as Rona Keenan, Ehud Banai, Barry Sakharof and with the Israel Philharmonic, Ra'anana Symphonette, and Beersheba Symphony. -Jerusalem Post 12/16/19

These photos show what it's really like in Iran, where - despite its antagonistic relationship with the US- life is surprisingly normal

Iran is frequently the subject of intense international news coverage, be it political tensions with the US over broken trade agreements, oil tanker crises, or recent nationwide protests. What we don't often see is how ordinary people live in the Islamic Republic. People go to work, socialize, and generally live a pretty normal existence. Here's a look into everyday life in the country, based on my own personal experiences. -Sahar Esfandiari, Business Insider 12/4/19

'The Other Apartment' Offers a Portal Between the U.S. and Iran

What if you could be transported into another person's lived experience just by visiting their home? Two artists -one in Pittsburgh, one in Tehran- are putting this idea to the test with The Other Apartment, an ambitious installation that uses the intimacy of one person's home to bridge the vast geographic, cultural, and political divides between the United States and Iran. -Laura Feinstein, Citylab 12/2/19

Inside Iran's Underground Fashion Industry

Tehran-based fashion designers Shirin and Shiva Vaqar joined Hoda Katebi, an Iranian-American activist who founded America's first apparel manufacturing co-op run by refugee women. They discussed the fashion industry in Iran, a country that has long been isolated from the Western world. -BOF 11/22/19

Iranian taxi driver returns 70,000 Euros left in his cab to Polish couple

A Polish couple who had left a bag containing 70,000 euros in cash in a taxi in Tehran have been reunited with their money thanks to the honest driver, Borna news agency reported on Tuesday. Ali Hassan Zafari, the driver, handed the bag to the Polish embassy in Tehran on November 3, after he realized it had been left behind. 11/14/19

An Entity Offering Services For Polygamy Operates In Iran

Come and enjoy our free training workshops for polygamy, a controversial Persian ad on Instagram invites users in Iran to try the service. The ad shows a "happily smiling family"; a man, his four "cheerful" wives, and their three joyful children, waving flags of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Radio Farda 11/11/19

Marriages Decrease, Divorces Increase At Alarming Rate In Iran

The rate of marriages in Iran dropped by nine percent in the 2018 compared with the previous year, an official at the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR), Alireza Sajedi, says. "NOCR registered 550,565 marriages in (the Iranian year) 1397 across Iran, which shows a nearly 9% drop, compared with 1396," Sajedi asserted, adding that the rate of marriage in the country started to drop in the late 2000s, and continued to shrink. -Radio Farda 11/7/19

Renowned Persian Poet Mazaher Mosaffa Dies At 87

Persian poet Mazaher Mosaffa, mostly famous for his odes, died of natural causes at his home in Tehran on Thursday October 31, 2019. He was 87. Mosaffa is considered as one of the few most outstanding ode composers in contemporary Persian literature. 11/5/19

Germany to celebrate 200th anniversary of Goethe's "West-East Divan" in Shiraz

Germany will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "West-East Divan" during a festival in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, home to the mausoleum of Persian poet Hafez who influenced Goethe's collection. 10/31/19

Iranian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor receives prestigious WOMEX Artist Award

Internationally-acclaimed Iranian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor has won the WOMEX 19 Artist Award for "bringing the Persian classical music tradition to the ears of people all over the world." Kalhor received the prestigious award on Sunday at the 25th jubilee edition of the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Tampere, Finland. 10/28/19

Iran population grows to 83.75 million: Statistical Center

Iranian government's main statistics agency has released updated demographic data for the country, saying the population grew by around 4.7 percent since the last census was carried three years ago to top 83.75 million in September 2019. 10/25/19

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